Non-profit Village Preservation has launched a new online platform called Virtual Village, which is part of their larger efforts seeking landmarks protections for the “South of Union Square” area, where Greenwich Village meets the East Village. The interactive online tool offers 36 free, guided walking tours of the neighborhood, ranging from architectural topics like the Cast Iron Tour to cultural topics like the German History Tour to social topics like the Women’s History and LGBTQ Tours.
As the decade draws to a close, we’re reflecting on the growth and evolution of New York City during the 2010s. In the past 10 years, the city has seen the rebirth of neighborhoods, the creation of a totally new one, the return of a major sports team to Brooklyn, and the biggest subway expansion in decades. We’ve asked notable New Yorkers to share which project of the past decade they believe has made the most significant impact on the city, from the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site to the revival of the Coney Island boardwalk.
The New York Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) has filed permits to construct a 22-floor tech hub at 114 East 14th Street near Union Square, CityRealty reports. Officially known as the Union Square Tech Training Center, the 254,000-square-foot, $250 million, facility has big plans to ramp up NYC’s high-tech firepower: In addition to affordable office space for startups, market-rate office space for tech companies, and a retail and market area run by Urbanspace, the nonprofit Civic Hall will be running a new digital skills training center at the midblock site once occupied by a PC Richard & Son electronics store.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) on Tuesday voted to calendar seven buildings on Broadway in Union Square, marking the first step to designating them as landmarks. The buildings sit adjacent to the tech hub, a 21-story tech training center planned for 124 East 14th Street and approved by the City Council last month. With the hub’s approval, the area was upzoned without landmark protections, allowing for about 85,000 square feet of office space and 16,500 more square feet between Civic Hall, step-up space and the workforce development hub.
6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation shares archival images of the gritty Meatpacking District from the 1980s to early 2000s. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
“Few parts of New York City have transformed as dramatically in the last decade or so as the Meatpacking District. Changes in the area are physical as well as spiritual. What was once a deserted ghost town by day, nightlife, sex club, and prostitution hub by night, and bustling workaday center of the Meatpacking industry from early morning to noon is now a glitzy, glamorized center of shopping, dining, tourism, strolling, and arts consumption,” says Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. The organization recently released a collection of archival photos of the neighborhood’s post-industrial grit, “before the Whitney, before the High Line, before Apple and Diane von Furstenberg, even before Sex and the City discovered the neighborhood.” Ahead, 6sqft shares these images, from the 1980s to the mid-2000s, which document the major transformation that’s taken place in just the past decade.
Historic brownstones in Brooklyn Heights via City Realty
The war wages on between the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) and citywide preservationists. Many thought the contention between the groups over whether or not historic districts lessen affordable housing was a personal sentiment of former REBNY president Steven Spinola. But his successor John Banks has released a new report that claims landmarking doesn’t protect affordable housing.
The report looks at the number of rent-stabilized units in landmarked and non-landmarked districts between 2007 and 2014, finding that “citywide, landmarked properties lost rent stabilized units (-22.5%) at a much higher rate (-5.1%) than non-landmarked properties.” Of course preservationists quickly fired back. Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) calls the study “bogus” and says it does nothing to address how many units would have been lost had these areas not been landmarked.
A rendering of the expansion plan
In October, the appellate court overturned a previous decision by the New York Supreme Court that prohibited NYU’s $6 billion, 1.9 million-square-foot Greenwich Village expansion plan, but community groups vowed to appeal the decision. And they most certainly kept their word.
In a press release sent today by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP), we’ve learned that the New York State Court of Appeals agreed to hear an appeal by GVSHP, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan, Community Board 2, actor Mark Ruffalo, and other local concerned parties.
A rendering of the NYU expansion plan
The battle between New York University and local residents and community preservation groups just got a little fiercer, as just yesterday the appellate court overturned a previous decision by the New York Supreme Court that prohibited the university’s $6 billion, 1.9 million-square-foot expansion plan.
NYU now has the green light to move forward with their colossal project, which includes taking over “implied park land” that has been used by the public for years. Local community groups vow to appeal the decision. The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan, Community Board 2, and local residents, filed the lawsuit against the school in 2012.
INTERVIEW: Andrew Berman, Executive Director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Tue, September 2, 2014
There’s been a lot of controversy around preservation in New York City as of late, and through it all, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) seems to always make its voice heard. From debunking myths about affordable housing and historic districts to advocating for the Village’s next great landmark, GVSHP remains on the front lines of the field.
Founded in 1980 to preserve the architectural heritage and cultural history of the Village, the organization now includes the East Village, South Village, Far West Village, Noho, and Meatpacking District in its purview. Part of the reason for GVSHP’s expansion stems from the tireless efforts of its longtime Executive Director, Andrew Berman. Since 2002, he has overseen the research, educational programming, and advocacy of one of the city’s leading preservation nonprofits. We recently sat down with Andrew to learn more about his views on the current state of preservation in the city and where he hopes to take GVSHP in the future.
It’s not always as easy as one might think to successfully advocate for the landmark designation of an historic building in New York, especially when that building’s owner is not on board with preservation efforts.
According to the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP), more than 20 historically significant buildings (including those designed by renowned architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and Morris Lapidus) have been heavily altered or altogether demolished over the past 12 years after city officials gave word to owners that their buildings were under consideration for landmarking. This comes from a new report that GVSHP commissioned, which examines the Bloomberg administration’s actions regarding the notification given to developers and owners that the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) was looking at their properties, allowing alteration and demolition permits to slip through before any historic protections were granted.